HomeMagazineListingsUpdateLinksContexts

 


 Ballet.co Postings Pages

 Some Special Threads:
  GPDTalk about George Piper Dances ! NEW !
  NBTTalk about Northern Ballet Theatre
  SBTalk about Scottish Ballet
  ENBTalk about English National Ballet
  BRBTalk about Birmingham Royal Ballet
  TodaysLinks - worldwide daily dance links
  Ballet.co GetTogethers - meetings and drinks...

  Help on New Postings


Subject: "RB mixed bill - a few thoughts" Archived thread - Read only
 
  Previous Topic | Next Topic
Printer-friendly copy     Email this topic to a friend    
Conferences What's Happening Topic #1113
Reading Topic #1113
alison

04-12-00, 01:09 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail alison Click to send private message to alison Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
"RB mixed bill - a few thoughts"
 
   Where *was* everyone on Friday night?! I don't think I've ever spotted so few Ballet.co-ers at a Royal Ballet first night! So, just a few thoughts on the programme:

Symphonic Variations - seemed to be greatly missing Bruce Sansom in the centre role. Yoshida, Hatley and Kobborg all good, although Yoshida did seem to take a bit of time to get into it, but it still wasn't a great performance. Mind you, I've never seen the RB give this ballet the performance it deserves (cue all those who remember the original cast to start raving!).

Lilac Garden - I wasn't terribly smitten with Guillem in this role - I know one of the reviewers was raving about her interpretation, but I couldn't see all those details from where I was sitting, which was quite close to the stage, so I'm not sure how it looked from the amphitheatre. I just felt that the role was a little bit too British-stiff-upper-lipped for Guillem, and in fact I kept having my attention drawn by Vanessa Palmer in one of the supporting roles.

Monotones II went down extremely well with the audience - possibly a little better that it actually deserved?

Gloria again went down very well - the audience were stamping and clapping like Prommers at the end to call the cast out for another curtain call.

And we can't forget the birthday girl - Dowell paid tribute to Dame Alicia Markova, who was looking suitably resplendent in the front row of the Grand Tier on her 90th birthday.


  Printer-friendly page | Top

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts gerald dowler 05-12-00 1
     RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts Sonja 05-12-00 2
         RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts Claire S 05-12-00 3
             RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts gerald dowler 06-12-00 4
                 RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts Fuzzyface 06-12-00 5
                 RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts Stephanie Wragg 06-12-00 6
                 RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts Shirley 06-12-00 7
                 RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts claire s 06-12-00 8
  RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts Jill 06-12-00 9
     RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts eugene merrett 06-12-00 10

Conferences | Topics | Previous Topic | Next Topic
gerald dowler

05-12-00, 07:59 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail gerald%20dowler Click to send private message to gerald%20dowler Click to add this user to your buddy list  
1. "RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts"
In response to message #0
 
   Well, I don't know who you count as regulars but the place was positively crawling with them on Friday!
Yes, a fantastic treat this bill.
Symphonic was, I feel well danced although Monday night was even better. Monotones was shakily danced and again miles better on Monday, but you have to understand that with so much padding in ballets (Bintley and a lot of the Eurotrash), an audience reacts very favourably to pure choreography and these two works are masterpieces of distilled movement. Ashton also knew how to begin a piece: Symphonic is a blaze of light and Monotones begins in curiosity arousing darkeness. The beginning of La Valse is brilliant. In fact Gloria starts with an empty stage and even Lilac Garden with stillness. Many choreographers would do well to see these five beginnings alone !
lilac Garden fails to make an impact, not leats owing to Guillems hard as nails personality - she would NEVER give up a lover or marry a man she didn't love ! The whole production has an American sheen and hardness which, I am sure, is a long way away from the Mercury in 1936. Any readers see Rambert do it when they had it in their rep ? How does this compare.
Gloria was absolutley fantastic and boring/bored old Cope really has found a part for himself when the choreography speaks without him having to act or emote. Benjamin and Saunders caould not be bettered in the pas de deux, I feel.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Sonja

05-12-00, 01:08 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Sonja Click to send private message to Sonja Click to add this user to your buddy list  
2. "RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts"
In response to message #1
 
   Gerald, fully agree that this was the best mixed bill I have seen for very long. Most mixed programmes in the past have produced mixed feelings in me - some of the bits I liked, some I only sat through. But this one was simply a pleasure - and for some of the ballets I felt sorry when they were over! Having arrived in London only the night before at 1 am and not slept well, I still became tired and unable to fully enjoy "Gloria" - but simply because it was too much of new stuff to be fully appreciated.

La Valse
The music was the only part I had known before - and I do like it. I loved the costumes and the corps de ballet virtouosity, plus I really enjoyed the three principal couples.

Symphonic Variations
Yoshida/Urlezaga - Hatley/Kobborg - Tapper/Tuifua
Could not believe how old this ballet is - it looked absolutely timeless! Especially liked Miyako Yoshida who made the quickest steps look completely easy and natural. Jaimie Tapper and Belinda Hatley were good, too, and for the boys I was also surprised by Inaki Urlezaga who moved with such grace and landed smoothly. Johann Kobborg I had only seen in "The Crucible" before - or, to say it better, I had read his name on the cast list, but due to the costumes I would not say I saw HIM... I liked his beautiful line!

Monotones
Bussell - Urlezaga - Marriott (replacing Nigel Burley)
Those costumes.... not flattering at all... But once I got over the "cosmic" look, it was fine. This ballet looked like a sequence of beautiful poses, almost paintings, to me, changing smoothly from one to the next. It must ber very difficult to perform it, but the three dancers gave it an almost dream like quality. I was very happy to see Darcey Bussell back in such good shape, and though I missed Nigel Burley, I thought his replacement Alastair Marriott coped very well - and probably even better on Monday!

Lilac Garden
Guillem - Tranah - Cope - Saunders
Beautiful settings, beautiful costumes - beautiful ballet. Looked quite modern, too! I liked Sylvie Guillem and Jonathan Cope (although Sylvie looked a bit cool) - but a huge compliment to Nicola Tranah, the "episode from his past" who got the style of that time perfectly right! She looked like a movie star from the fourties!

Gloria
Benjamin - Saunders - Cope and many others
Was amazed by the principals' dancing, and touched by Leanne Benjamin's vulnerability. As written before, I could not fully follow the plot or understand it as by then I had become a bit tired, but was moved a lot. Following comment of "The Guardian" sums a lot up well, I think: "Gloria had Leanne Benjamin dancing an exquisite angel of death, with Jonathan Cope as the iconic unknown soldier giving the uncanny impression of a body both supercharged with power and refined into ghostly wheightlessness." (Passion and heartache at the Royal Ballet - Judith Mackrell www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/reviews/story/0,3604,406432,00.html)


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Claire S

05-12-00, 11:33 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Claire%20S Click to send private message to Claire%20S Click to add this user to your buddy list  
3. "RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts"
In response to message #2
 
   Starry, starry night . . .

A few thoughts on the 4 December performance. It was once of those nights when there was so much talent on show (both choreographic and dancing) that it was almost difficult to take it in. It was probably the best mixed bill I've seen at the Opera House and one much appreciated by the audience (for once there seemed more dancing than intervals).

La Valse - This is the first time I've seen it live, and it's a real gem. Beautiful just to gaze at (isn't all Ashton?)but so much more going on, and a lovely performance by Yanowsky as ever.

Symphonic Variations - Couldn't Bruce Sansom have flown back from San Francisco just for this?!! This is one of those ballets that leave you almost breathless at the genius that was Ashton. It simply couldn't be any better and it was much improved performance on its last two outings at Covent Garden. Yoshida was superb, as was Kobborg of course, but Urlezaga was simply miscast, especially alongside the tiny Yoshida.Sometimes the casting baffles me - surely there's someone in the company who'd be a better partner for Yoshida? And if there isn't, why isn't there?

Monotones II - Hmm. A good night for Bussell, less so for her partners and there was the sense of a major piece of work being lost on such a vast stage. The costumes look better froma distance, though.

Lilac Garden - Loved it. I couldn't believe it was created so long ago, it felt as if it had been created yesterday. And I thought it was Guillem at her best - turning what could easily have been a melodrama into a truly moving tragedy (better than Marguerite and Armand). Cope was dull but Saunders and Tranah impressed me. I hope we see this again soon, and maybe with other casts. (I know we won't get to see Durante/Mukhamedov but i can dream . . .)

Gloria - Another major work with a stellar performance by the principals, especially by Benjamin who was simply heartbreaking. It was interesting to see Christopher Saunders - an RB stalwart and one of the best partners in the company - in three different roles in one evening. He couldn't be bettered in this, and as one of the unsung heroes of RB it was good to see him get his place in the spotlight. Cope was on terrific form too.

All in all, a very satisfying evening, if one in which the choreographers came out slightly on top. It was good to see a mixed bill selling out at Covent garden.

ONE POINT: the ROH brochure described it as a "quadruple" bill, despite the clear presence of five ballets on the bill. If they can't count no wonder they can't balance the books . . . And the booking period one brochure was nowhere to be seen. How are they ever going to sell out performances of the likes of Ondine if they don't TELL people!


  Printer-friendly page | Top
gerald dowler

06-12-00, 08:12 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail gerald%20dowler Click to send private message to gerald%20dowler Click to add this user to your buddy list  
4. "RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts"
In response to message #3
 
   One or two points:

The casting for Symphonic is solely in the hands of Wendy Ellis, who owns the ballet as Michael Somes' widow. Many do not think that Yoshida and Urlezaga are mismatched...

Monotones can't be 'lost on the large stage'; it is precisely the relationship of three dancers alone on the vastness of the very same Covent Garden stage that is one of the keys to the work.

The bill is 'quadruple' as Monotones II was added to the fare after the announcement of the season and the printing of the brochures.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Fuzzyface

06-12-00, 09:46 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Fuzzyface Click to send private message to Fuzzyface Click to add this user to your buddy list  
5. "RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts"
In response to message #4
 
   Does anyone know who the full second cast for "Symphonics" will be?


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Stephanie Wragg

06-12-00, 10:30 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Stephanie%20Wragg Click to send private message to Stephanie%20Wragg Click to add this user to your buddy list  
6. "RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts"
In response to message #4
 
   >The casting for Symphonic is solely
>in the hands of Wendy
>Ellis, who owns the ballet
>as Michael Somes' widow.
>Many do not think that
>Yoshida and Urlezaga are mismatched...
>
**I wonder if Ms Ellis has actually seen Urlezaga dance this, maybe she would take him out of it? I saw him partner Durante in this and he looked bulky and massive in the white costume and was totally graceless in his part.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Shirley

06-12-00, 10:53 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Shirley Click to send private message to Shirley Click to add this user to your buddy list  
7. "RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts"
In response to message #4
 
   >The bill is 'quadruple' as Monotones
>II was added to the
>fare after the announcement of
>the season and the printing
>of the brochures.


Monotones was in all the original brochures I got through the friends so not sure when it was added!


  Printer-friendly page | Top
claire s

06-12-00, 11:01 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail claire%20s Click to send private message to claire%20s Click to add this user to your buddy list  
8. "RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts"
In response to message #4
 
   >One or two points:
>
>The casting for Symphonic is solely
>in the hands of Wendy
>Ellis, who owns the ballet
>as Michael Somes' widow.
>Many do not think that
>Yoshida and Urlezaga are mismatched...
>
>
>Monotones can't be 'lost on the
>large stage'; it is precisely
>the relationship of three dancers
>alone on the vastness of
>the very same Covent Garden
>stage that is one of
>the keys to the work.
>
>
>The bill is 'quadruple' as Monotones
>II was added to the
>fare after the announcement of
>the season and the printing
>of the brochures.

My brochure definitely has five ballets on what is described as a quadruple bill, and surely if I think Yoshida and Urlezaga are not well matched I can say so, even if "many" don't? I thought the point of this website was to share thoughts and ideas even if we don't all agree. I love reading other people's comments as they often offer new perspectives on performers and performances.
I've begun to warm to Urlezaga in recent months and have enjoyed a lot of his performances, but I was disaapointed with Symphonic. of course I am a big Sansom fan so I might be a bit biased!


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Jill

06-12-00, 12:34 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Jill Click to send private message to Jill Click to add this user to your buddy list  
9. "RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts"
In response to message #0
 
   Does anyone know if Covent Garden intends to repeat this "quadruple" bill next year? It has had rave reviews, but I chose to see Swan Lake and Ondine, and can't afford a third outing at Covent Garden prices.

If there are no plans, is there anyone at Covent Garden we can lobby?


  Printer-friendly page | Top
eugene merrett

06-12-00, 12:44 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail eugene%20merrett Click to send private message to eugene%20merrett Click to add this user to your buddy list  
10. "RE: RB mixed bill - a few thoughts"
In response to message #9
 
   I saw the first outing but had to leave afterwards!

I was not crazy about La Valse - I think it needed more rehearsal.

I have always like S. Variation but this the first time I saw it high up in the new theatre. And what it different it made. The new deeper stage gives the ballet a wonderful space time dimension. If you see this ballet at stall level then you are only seeing a quarter of the ballet. I really like Yoshida in the main role - wonderful footwork and speed!!


  Printer-friendly page | Top

Conferences | Topics | Previous Topic | Next Topic

 
Questions or problems regarding this bulletin board should be directed to Bruce Marriott